Next week we’ll be heading to Stockholm for a little early birthday celebration. We are really excited but a little bit overwhelmed / anxious at the same time. As usual. So much to see, so little time. For me, this state is the epitome of FOMO: Are we missing the best restaurants? Which museums do we visit? Is there any wonderful place that we just don’t know about? Where do the locals hang out?
Nowadays, planning a trip can be tricky: there’s so much information out there! And that sometimes paralyses us. I’m not talking about booking flights or finding the best hotels. That’s the easiest part. What we find tremendously difficult is the next step. Deciding what to do, where to go or where to eat (this particular issue is very important! ;) to make the most of our experience. Besides, we also try to find the best spots to take pictures, the coolest establishments in town and, all in all, the best content for the blog. It can be quite intimidating.
We love travel books, so that’s our main source of information. Of course we also check other blogs, online magazines and our travel bible: Conde Nast Traveller.
Most of the time we end up forgetting everything and, once in our destination, we walk aimlessly, we try to discover little nice restaurants by chance, and we spend a fair amount of time enjoing whichever hotel we’re staying at. The slow pace way.
What about you? How do you plan your trips? Do you trust any travel blogger? Which are your favorite guides? Any tips? Please share below!
PS: What’s in our travel bag, The perks of travelling off season and Travelling light: tips and paranoia.
To say that Venice is my favorite place in the world is an understatement (Exhibit A). If I had to pick a place to spend the rest of my days, I would choose Venice (Exhibit B, C, D and E). If I had to save one city from a meteorite, that would be Venice (Exhibit F and G). I would give you more evidence of my inconditional love, but you get the picture. In case you don’t, here you have some articles to read. I try to visit this mesmerizing city at least once a year, but whenever I get nostalgic I check these Instagram accounts. They are abolutely stunning and they show a real Venice, always at its best:
Sildipi: gorgeous shots, acqua alta, and lonely canals.
Celestalis: the editorial director of Venezia da vivere shares spectaculars pictures.
Seventhesoul: he says he is a Venice lover and proves it with a lots of pictures of quiet canals.
Faveromarco: hiden corners, altane and beautiful light.
Neumarc: recommended by The Guardian, he claims to use Instagram as a daily therapy. Well, his therapy certainly helps me when I miss Venice.
Do follow these accounts if you want to travel to Venice. At least virtually.
Staying in a beautiful hotel is a wonderful experience. We have been lucky enough to stay in some wonderful boutique hotels but there is always room for improvement. These are 5 things we would love to find in every single hotel:
- Milk and cookies in the room service menu. This should be absolutely mandatory. How many times have you arrived at a lovely hotel late at night, exhausted yet a little bit peckish and all you wanted was a nice comforting glass of milk and cookies before crawling into bed? Never? Oh well, we have experienced that craving lots of times. Milk and cookies is just the perfect midnight snack and I’m sure lots of guests will appreciate it!
- A little courtesy room for that ackward moment when you pick your luggage after making the most of your last morning in your destination and want to rearrange your suitcases. Sometimes you have to do it in the middle of the lobby and it’s not gracious, to say the least. We remember a particularly embarrasing moment when we had to squeeze two HUGE Selfridges bags into our trolleys in the lobby of our beloved Mandeville Hotel in London. Not nice, not nice… Let’s say that even the Concierge was embarrased. In our defense: what else can you do on your last couple of hours a Monday morning in London? Shopping!
- A clear breakfast menu: early morning after a great night sleep. You are feeling super hungry and head to that wonderful hotel breakfast. You are excited to try every single thing but have a shy look (because we all get shy in moments like these), pick a few things and look for a nice little table. You feel like the American movie nerd in the high school cafeteria. Then you start seeing wonderful eggs benedict flying to other tables. After a while you see that your neighbour is sipping a foamy capuccino. Why hasn’t anybody told you that you could ask for egg benedicts and drink sophisticated coffe!!!??? You are sleepy and you need everything clearly stated!!!
- More and better located bathroom hangers: what do you do when you don’t want to keep your towels (because after all you care for the environment) but there are simply no hangers to tidily hang your towels? And if there are any hangers, why are they on the opposite side of the bathroom far far away from the shower?
- Free Wi-Fi. I mean, 2015… and you still charge for Wi-Fi???
What about you? Is there anything you’d like to add?
We would love to…
Have cup of hot chocolate in Angelina Paris and then go for a long afternoon walk in Montmartre.
Skate along the frozen Dutch canals in Kinderdijk.
Experience an authentic Winter wonderland dream in Putevny, Czech Republic.
Indulge to high tea in London (at the Claridge’s, if posible).
Ski in Switzerland (that means watch other people skiing while we sip a hot chocolate mocktail in a cosy wooden cabin).
Wander through the almost deserted alleys in Venice.
Observe the Northern lights in Lapland.
Go Christmas shopping in Copenhagen.
Take my mum to Scotland for a whiskey tasting.
Visit all the traditional cafes in Vienna and eat lots of Dobos Torte…
or escape from the cold weather and head to the Canary Islands.
A girl can dream! Do you have any travel dreams for this Christmas?
Picture via Pinterest.
This week we’ve done two quizzes to guess where we should travel in 2015. This one in the Lonely Planet web says we have to go to Singapore (we both got the same result!) but the quiz in the AFAR website claims that I should experience art in Paris and P. has to recharge in India. Well, we’ve never thought about visiting Singapore to be honest. Maybe we should, apparently it matches our personality, go figure! But Paris is always a good idea. India, on the contrary, scares us. In any case, our travel plans for 2015 are quite different:
In February we are planning to spend a weekend in Mallorca. We want to go back to Serra de Tramuntana, eat in Ca Na Toneta and remember a little trip we did five years ago to prepare our destination wedding. If you are curious you can have a look at the posts we did about our wedding here and here.
We don’t want to miss The Hive in April. The Hive is the blogger conference that we couldn’t attend last year nor the year before. We promise we’ll be there! We are even thinking about an extra night in Berlin to visit this spa.
But our trip in May is going to be the highlight of the year: we will try to visit Rome and Costiera Amalfitana to celebrate our 5th anniversary! We spent our honeymoon in a little family owned hotel in Ravello and we’d love to come back and reminisce. We are trying to add a couple of extra nights in Rome too. Let’s see what we can arrange…
In June we’ll be flying to Seville for the most special wedding. Our dearest friends are getting married and I’m sure it’s going to be amazing! We just can’t wait!
The end of the Summer is reserved for Stockholm. Everyone talks about how beautiful it is and, well, we even created a moodboard about it. So it’s time to turn that wanderlust into a reality.
Our traditional London Christmas trip will be the last getaway in our calendar. We just can’t get enough of London at Christmas. Or London for that matter…
As you can see we have lots of planning to do! No long distance trips, though. What can we say? We are weekenders and city break girls.
Which are your travel plans for 2015? Please answer those quizzes and let us know the results in the comment section! It will be fun!
Christmas means family gatherings and let’s face it: as much as we love our families, they could be difficult sometimes (to say the least). Coping with family stress is one of the most usual problems during the holiday season, so why not go on a little Christmas adventure? A different environment may help and, well, if you have an argument with your mother/ father/ aunt/ cousin/ brother, you can always go for a walk afterwards and discover a new place! Continue reading
Who hasn’t dreamt about a romantic Parisian getaway in Autumn? I know, I know, it’s a cliché… but wouldn’t it be nice? The faded light, the warm croissants, the cold sunsets… But for those who prefer travelling off the beaten track, there’s more to France than Paris. That’s why we’ve put up a list of other French destinations just as charming but not so crowded. Continue reading
Have you ever thought that some destinations are better if enjoyed at a certain age? Well, I do think that every age has its destinations. Long exotic journeys are for those years in college and things like tours around Tuscany call for a more mature and slow-paced travellers. Well, we feel that we belong in the latter group, so we’ve been planing a road trip in Tuscany for a while.
It would be nice to spend a few days in Florence breathing art and history. Then we could rent a car and get lost in the famous Tuscan countryside. Eat, drink, relax, repeat. I know is a fantasy that most of us have: Tuscany! It’s almost a brand, a cliché… but wouldn’t it be nice to make it a reality?
Every season has its trends. Also when it comes to travelling. When we think about Autumn we usually picture ourselves in the woods, by the fire place in a cosy rustic retreat or exploring a Central European city. While this sounds completely inviting, sometimes we feel like escaping, experiencing something new and changing your life if only for a few days. All in all, that’s what most of us look for when travelling, isn’t it? Then, why not thinking outside the box?
September is one of our favorite months to travel. High season is over and crowds finally return home. The weather is still nice but milder and every landscape seems quieter, waiting for Autumn to arrive. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a relaxed getaway. Travelling off season has only perks in our books. It’s not about the money, though it helps. It’s about the feelings and experiences: the melancholy of a lonely beach in November or the happiness of those warm first rays of sunshine in an empty little cove in April. The silence of a city like Venice in Winter or a sunset all for yourself in otherwise crowded Mykonos. The sensation of plenitude, loneliness, uniqueness. That feeling of being a traveler more than a tourist. Who doesn’t love it? We certainly do… and it’s a feeling that can be addictive. What about you? Are you off season junkies like us?
Image via La closerie